Talk:Gnosis

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Inclusion of content[edit]

The central disagreement here is whether Voegelin's views about Gnosis should be included. The Neutral Point of View policy says:

Essentially another way of describing a "tiny minority view" is to call it fringe. That is, if Voegelin's ideas about Gnosis were a tiny minority view, they shouldn't be included. However, if Voegelin's views aren't those of a tiny minority, they should be included. If the article includes Voegelin's ideas, this isn't by any means an endorsement of his views. Also, if the article does include Voegelin's ideas, there should also be a fair representation of the debate about his views. The NPOV policy also stipulates:

If we can determine that Voegelin's ideas about Gnosticism represent a tiny minority view, then we should not include them in the article. Conversely, if his views are notable, they should be included. Finally, another alternative, would be not to discuss his views, but to include a link, perhaps in the 'See also' section. PhilKnight (talk) 23:53, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

OK now please please clarify what exactly you expect as evidence that Voegelins opinion is not held in a "tiny minority", since his view and use of the word gnosis is wide spread from "political science" [4] to "metaphysical philosophy" [5]. Voegelin is also the one who is credited for coining the phrase about triggering the end of the world, reducing the infinite to finite knowledge and then calling it gnosis this is widely debated as to "immanentize the eschaton". Please note that this is not a tiny-minority view and that this crosses many academic spectrums of study. The idea of bogus or false knowledge (conspiracy theory, slander, distortion) masquerading as mysticism is at the heart of the very study of epistemology. What is valid and what is invalid and by what criteria does valid get "validated". This is pure science. So far as I can tell you have the National Review using the phrase, the libertarians and it is used as a staple in defining destructive cults. So how big do you need at least this one idea of Voegelins to be? It is most certainly bigger then Hans Jonas. I would dare say that Hans Jonas and Voegelin's entries be removed and their names placed in the see also section of the article under against gnosis of gnosticism. Since Jonas stated this about Gershon Scholems position on gnosticism [6] [7]. Gnosticism is "The Greatest case of metaphysical Antisemitism." Gershon Scholem.[8]
Hello Gershon Scholem, just to clarify, more role is merely that of an informal mediator, so article content is determined as usual by consensus - I don't have any authority to impose a solution. PhilKnight (talk) 22:37, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Since I agree with your view and did orginally (PhilKnight), which is why I added a link that kept getting censured-deleted. I dare say we have a pro and cons list. Also we could have a notable ancient and modern gnostics list and include like the Greek article a list of names of gnostics, we could use the Greek list [9] and include Nietzsche,Carl Jung, Samael Aun Weor, Louis Farrakan[10], etc. etc. LoveMonkey (talk) 13:20, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

How "tiny minority view" is to call it fringe"is decided? Is it a arbitrary decision of any editor? I disagree with this provision since, it lacks clarity and is full of ambiguousness. Pathare Prabhu (talk) 17:17, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

notability, and reliable sources[edit]

Could someone please explain the objection to using Eric Voegelin as a source in this article? The man seems to be considered an outstanding 20th century scholar, who wrote extensivly on Gnosticism, and who has gotten serious attention [11] for his published views on the subject. His complete works were published by University of Missouri Press. I am not sure how many vols, but his complete works contains at least 14 vols. (Found it: the complete works are 34 vols. [12]) How can there be any rational objection to including someone so notable, someone so academically respected, and someone who wrote extensively on Gnosticism? Malcolm Schosha (talk) 18:02, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Recent editwarring[edit]

Langdell has engaged in destructive and none consensus edit warring and 3rr (actually 5rr). While WP:gaming the system and WP:policy shopping. For the sake of clean hands I request that the edit warring stop and the article content again be discussed on the talkpage here. Langdell's conduct appears in bad faith. LoveMonkey (talk) 15:29, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Hans Jonas and his take on gnosticism's anti-semitism[edit]

Langdell, Hans Jonas is obviously an excellent reliable source for the article. The problem with the very long quote I deleted is that it was so long it probably constituted a copy right infringment. If you could select a few sentences from that, and then summerize the rest, there is no reason not to have it in the article. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 16:20, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

There is allot of old scholarship that Langdell either does not know about or is in bad faith not posting. I posted Voegelin with Hans Jonas because Jonas and Voegelin both agreed on gnosticism and Langdell is either ignorant of it or Langdell is engaging in completely unethical behaviour. Note here how Jonas expressed Gnosticism. I quote "Jonas describes the typical Gnostic use of biblical material as follows: vilication, parody, caricature, conscious perversion of meaning, wholesale reversal of value-signs, savage degrading of the sacred, and gleefully shocking blashemy. Hans Jonas was Jewish and this reference clearly states that Jonas denied a Jewish origin to Gnosticism.[13]. For Langdell to miss this and then accuse other people of bigotry is amazing to say the least. Notice to that none of the gnosticism articles on wikipedia ever really directly address that gnositicism is considered anti-semitic. Langdell is dancing around and doing allot of other things then addressing what Hans Jonas stated as well as Voegelin about gnosis and the followers of the cults (gnosticism) used the word to justify. Stating that anti-semitism as such should be tolerated. It seems that Langdell is no using Hans Jonas as Hans is understood. I thought Langdell would get the hint and just read some of the book links with pages from actual text confirming what I am saying. But Langdell has instead edit warred. Playing off the ignorance of people. Problem is administrators can read the books for themselves and draw a conclusion different then Langdell. This will not bode well.

LoveMonkey (talk) 16:35, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


If Jonas, or other reliable sources, directly discuss Gnostic antisemitism, that might be worth putting in the article. But it can not be based on surmise. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:10, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Very very valid point. I think there is allot of books and data available online that will directly state and validate the position. I just do not feel it is approporiate for me to post it. I think that some of it is very much Jewish culturally and I am not any spokesperson for any group let allow the Jewish culture. Anti- semitism (including in my own community) is wrong. I would hope that people would have an understanding about why editors might be apprehensive about the subject matter.

LoveMonkey (talk) 19:16, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

It is truly amazing how the only paragraph about Hans Jonas has a Saint Paul quote as a kind of clarification of his position, when Jonas clearly states that Paul considered faith and not knowledge (gnosis) as the vehicle of salvation. Could someone explain it? --JuliusCarver (talk) 22:37, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

No need to explain it. The section consisted entirely of unsourced original research that was inconsistent with WP editorial policies WP:NPOV, WP:V, and WP:NOR-- "three strikes". I've removed it. There's a place for Hans Jonas in this article, but the material would need to comply with WP's core content policies in order to be included. ... Kenosis (talk) 23:32, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
..... I add, in agreement with Malcolm Schosha, that Hans Jonas' book The Gnostic Religion is a major resource on Gnosticism. I expect part of the challenge here is that Jonas' treatment of Gnosticism is quite broad and very detailed, often philosophically and theologically deep, and difficult to briefly summarize for the purpose of an article such as this.
..... As to Voegelin, he is mentioned in the article on Gnosticism, in the context of a substantial definitional problem that often occurs with the terms "gnosis" and "gnostic". Eric Voegelin is, by comparison to Jonas, a minor commentator with a very particular sociopolitical slant on the topic. The present treatment of Voegelin in this article is arguably very disproportionate to his actual place among the many many writers, both theological and academic, who have published a large and diverse body of material about gnosticism. ... Kenosis (talk) 00:11, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Etymological and Intercultural associations[edit]

I am moving this section of the article to the talk page for discussion.

== Etymological and Intercultural associations ==

The meaning of gnosis is well understood among the mystical traditions of the world religions and the term is used interchangeably with equivalent concepts in other mystical traditions.[citation needed] For example in Indian religions experiential knowledge of the unconditioned ground (Brahman - the Hindu concept of the Godhead) is called jnana (pronounced nyana). The term jnana (often spelt nyana or ñana) is also found in Buddhism.

The word gnosis is actually cognate (from Proto-Indo-European) with Sanskrit jnana. In Theravada Buddhism the word for gnosis is añña (lit. 'highest knowledge') which is again from the same root[1]. Similarly, within the context of gnosticism, the word gnostic may refer to a follower of one of the gnostic sects or may be used as equivalent to the term pneumatic, that is to say one who has attained gnosis. Outside the context of gnosticism gnostic is often used in this latter sense.[2] This is comparable to the term Jnani in Sanskrit and Hindi meaning one who has attained jnana. It is interesting to note in this context that in the Forest Sangha tradition of Ajahn Chah the word Buddha (technically meaning one who has awakened) is taught as meaning 'one who knows'[3].

Gnosis is synonymous with equivalent terms in other spiritual/mystical traditions. Examples include:

* Enlightenment - Buddhism

The problem with the section, it seems to me, is that it is unsupported by any reliable source and may be only original research. It should go back into the article if it can be reliably sourced. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 16:41, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

) There are maaaany published researches that establish the concept of gnosis within islam. in fact, in the study of sufism, it is very common to translate ma'rifa/marifet as gnosis. usually, in islam terms, this has been called "batini"(esoteric) approach and has been looked upon with rather critically. (Faith and Reason, by Averrose/Ibn Rushd) Anyways, a few publications which renders ma'rifa as gnosis and 'arif as gnostic include Annemarie Schimmel "Mystical Dimensions of Islam" (1975: for example 340), "The Sufi Orders of Islam" by J. Spencer Trimingham (1971: for example 3, 140-141, 147 and glossary). Also, Henry Corbin has an interesting book called "Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis"(my edition is printed 1983). Not critisizing, just mentioning.  :-) Keep up the good works! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.177.48.181 (talk) 16:05, 22 January 2012 (UTC)


WOW the article is looking much better[edit]

I think that editor2020 and Malcolm Schosha have cleaned the article up. It is starting to look like an actual encyclopedia entry. Excellent. I do think the cross religious studies content belongs in the article but I just don't know how source it from reliable sources that are not questionable. I think that Ken Wilber and Eugene Webb probably have more clearer articulations of the cross religious studies correlations. LoveMonkey (talk) 12:50, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

The article is good! ... said: Rursus (bork²) 12:10, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Removed section on Eric Voegelin[edit]

I've removed the section on Eric Voegelin and am placing it immediately below for further discussion as may be appropriate. The ground for my removal is that it's wildly out of keeping with WP:NPOV#Undue_weight.
..... Reiterating part of my comment several sections above, Eric Voegelin is mentioned in the article on Gnosticism, in the context of a substantial definitional problem that often occurs with the terms "gnosis" and "gnostic". Voegelin is, in the context of the entire body of available literature about gnosis, a minor commentator with a very particular sociopolitical slant on the topic. The present treatment of Voegelin in this article is very disproportionate to his actual place among the many many writers, both theological and academic, who have published an extremely large and diverse body of material about various conceptions of gnosis and gnosticism.... Kenosis (talk) 01:44, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

==Eric Voegelin==

Eric Voegelin, partially building on the concept of Gnosticism as defined by Hans Jonas,[4] defined the gnosis[5] of the followers of Gnosticism[6] as religious philosophical teachings that are the foundations of cults. Voegelin identified a number of similarities between ancient Gnosticism and those held by a number of modernist political theories, particularly communism and nazism.

Voegelin identified the root of the Gnostic impulse as alienation, that is, a sense of disconnection with society, and a belief that this disconnection is the result of the inherent disorder, or even evil, of the world. This alienation has two effects:

  • The belief that the disorder of the world can be transcended by extraordinary insight, learning, or knowledge, called a Gnostic Speculation by Voegelin (the Gnostics themselves referred to this as gnosis).
  • The desire to create and implement a policy to actualize the speculation, or as Voegelin described it, to Immanentize the Eschaton, to create a sort of heaven on earth within history by triggering the apocalypse.

Voegelin’s conception of gnosis and his analysis of Gnosticism in general has come under criticism from recent research, including that of Professor Eugene Webb of the University of Washington. Webb, a researcher and teacher in the field of the study of religion, has written several academic monographs on Voegelin’s thought and a book devoted to the exposition of his philosophy as a whole.[7] In a recent article entitled "Voegelin’s Gnosticism Reconsidered", Webb puts Voegelin’s use of the terms gnosis and Gnosticism under close scrutiny. Webb explains that Voegelin’s concept of Gnosticism was conceived "not primarily to describe ancient phenomena but to help us understand some modern ones for which the evidence is a great deal clearer."[8] Webb then goes on to state his belief that today "the category (of Gnosticism) is of limited usefulness for the purpose to which he put it…and the fact that the idea of Gnosticism as such has become so problematic and complex in recent years must at the very least undercut Voegelin’s effort to trace a historical line of descent from ancient sources to the modern phenomena he tried to use them to illuminate."[9]

===References===

  1. ^ Nyanatiloka, Buddhist Dictionary, 4th Ed. Buddhist Publication Society, ISBN-955-24-0019-8
  2. ^ See Introduction to Al-Shabrawi op. cit.
  3. ^ See any one of numerous teachings of Ajahn Chah or his disciples
  4. ^ The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin By Eric Voegelin, Ellis Sandoz, Gilbert Weiss, William Petropulos Published by Louisiana State University Press, 1989 ISBN 0807118265, 9780807118269 [1]
  5. ^ Glossary of Voegelin terms online [2] Gnosis "Knowledge". Originally a general term in Greek for knowledge of various sorts. Later, especially with the Gnostic movement of the early Christian era, a purported direct, immediate apprehension or vision of truth without the need for critical reflection; the special gift of a spiritual and cognitive elite. According to Voegelin, the claim to gnosis may take intellectual, emotional, and volitional forms." [Webb 1981:282]
  6. ^ Glossary of Voegelin terms online [3] Gnosticism "A type of thinking that claims absolute cognitive mastery of reality. Relying as it does on a claim to gnosis, gnosticism considers its knowledge not subject to criticism. As a religious or quasi-religious movement, gnosticism may take transcendentalizing (as in the case of the Gnostic movement of late antiquity) or immanentizing forms (as in the case of Marxism)." [Webb 1981:282]
  7. ^ Eric Voegelin: Philosopher of History, Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1981.
  8. ^ Webb, E; Voegelin’s “Gnosticism” Reconsidered; Political Science Reviewer; 34; 2005
  9. ^ Webb, E; "Voegelin’s “Gnosticism” Reconsidered"; Political Science Reviewer; 34; 2005

--End of removed section--01:49, 2 November 2008 (UTC)


I have restored the section because Voegelin is a WP:reliable source "Wikipedia articles should cover all major and significant-minority views that have been published by reliable sources." Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:17, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Why hellooo Kenosis. Love the name. REALLY. Hey Langdell should never have added Hans Jonas. I will be clear as to why. This inclusion allows for negative, very negative things to be said of gnosis, the gnosis of the sects who are called followers of gnosticism in specific. Syncretism aside I wondered what would be the appropriate way to address those negative things. Voegelin is no minority opinion. He has his critics but they I doubt would be for the wholesale disregard of his work. If they are (as scholars) they need to be more clear. And clear as a majority. Again as I noted before, Voegelin deals with the entire spectrum of the meaning of the word gnosis as it is seeded as Hellenistic. Thats political, philosophical and religious. I would like to know how to address this with proper weight since undue weight would mean an inclusion but only a small one, not outright deletion. I think Voegolin would fit right nicely in the Platonic definition section of the article.

LoveMonkey (talk) 14:34, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I think there's no place for a whole section devoted to either Jonas or Veogelin in an article of this length. It's wildly disproportionate to the treatment presently given to the topic in this article. Veogelin is given brief treatment in the article on gnosticism, and Jonas is drawn upon several times. Jonas really does have some very insightful treatment of gnosis and gnosticism in his book. Voegelin, on the other hand, is not a sufficiently major scholar on gnosis such that he should have a section devoted to him in such a relatively brief article as this. It doesn't even come close to passing WP:UNDUE, an important part of the WP:NPOV policy. Moreover it tends to make this article, in part, a POV fork from the more extensive and developed article on gnosticism. As of now, I've removed it and Malcolm Schosha has reverted. It seems to me that section should be placed in the article on Eric Voegelin, and/or elsewhere. Lacking broader, more extensive balanced treatment in this article of a number of views of particular writers on gnosis, IMO it simply doesn't belong here. Given the relatively brief summary treatment this article gives to gnosis, I would think a sentence or two--a concise paragraph at most-- with a link to the article on Voegelin, ought cover Veogelin's slant on "gnosis" quite adequately in this article. If in the future this article gets more developed and in-depth, Voegelin can always be expanded upon in reasonable proportion to the treatment given other authors. At least, that's my current take on it. ... Kenosis (talk) 06:07, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Kenosis, if you want to merge the material on Jonas and Veogelin into the rest of the article, that might work out okay. That would remove those two sections without removing the material. But to remove the content both sections, or even one section, would be an unjustified deletion of relevant and well sourced material from the article. Please don't do that. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 12:31, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Kenosis, I beg to differ Voegelin is indeed a Major Scholar on gnosis just gnosis as religious but more close to its philosophical orginal use which is political science. We should try some rewrites here first and then add them to the article.

LoveMonkey (talk) 14:40, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

No objection. I responded more specifically in the continuing thread on this issue (regarding both Voegelin and Jonas) below. ... Kenosis (talk) 00:16, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Missing the most important point of what is being contested[edit]

Ok Kenosis, I think there is abit a of a disconnect here. The problem, question point of contention Kenosis is not being addressed by your comments. I dare say you either have not read through what is at the top of the talkpage or are avoiding the issue. Here is the issue- Hans Jonas very clearly stated that gnosisticism was anti-semitic. Voegelin was along this same line of thinking. By Langdell adding Hans Jonas in as a Pro-gnosticism person and you by admission also making statements that Hans Jonas was Pro-gnosticism is really very bad. This is the same thing that happened on the Plotinus page about his very obvious anti-gnosticism which was denied. Bunches and bunches of very opinioned editors coming in with a pro-gnosticism stance and posting conspiracy theory to undermine the actual work of the person in question. You have avoided the point.

Hans Jonas and Gersha Scholem stated that gnositicism was an underlining current of European Anti-semitism. Read the quotes I put of Hans Jonas in bold I put above. Now see if Hans Jonas and his position is handled that way in any of the gnosticism related articles here on Wikipedia. Look at google and then see if it is addressed that way there. For me to make a co-orelation between the thule society and gnosticism is treated as an unsupported POV, OR. And yet here are two scholars that support the co-orelation.

Remember Heidegger became a Nazi. Please address how this very big nasty thing should be handled other then dodging the point and or avoidance. You know the whole, the Jewish God is a tyrant thingy. The cat is out of bag. It is completely within reason for me to start labeling everything involving Gnosticism as anti-semitic. Remember now between Hans Jonas and Voegelin, Heidegger is referred to as a gnostic. If the very defining thing that gnosticism has, that no other religious position has, is that the creator is evil as its creation and this is focused at the Jewish creator God (including Plato's interruption which is called demiurge or creator God, remember this is Jonas' very position) almost exclusively, why is that not considered anti-semitic? How should this be addressed. So tell me why this whole thing is missing from all of the mentions of Hans Jonas and Voegelin? So would not an article about the very root of the idea ---gnosis--- meaning I know the secret, conspiracy truth about the Jews and their religion, again not be a place to address this? I mean Christian Orthodoxy and Neoplatonism did not use gnosis (secret knowledge) this way (as conspiracy theory, hatespeech, slander etc. ect.) Would not this be the place to clarify such an important and complicated thing. LoveMonkey (talk) 14:03, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Voegelin's analysis is primarily sociopolitical theory. And it's speculative sociopolitical theory-- his fast-and-loose associations of gnosis with totalitarianism are reminiscent of associations between genetics and eugenics. A number of reliable published sources critical of Voegelin's analysis appear to agree with this basic take on Voegelin's work on gnosticism. Jonas' analysis, by contrast is on the whole a thorough historical study and conceptual study of gnosticism, with some sociopolitical commentary interwoven (can't point you to exactly where in his book at the moment). Perhaps a section dealing with sociopolitical theory w.r.t. "gnosis" and "gnositicism" would be more informative? without disproportionately dominating this article? Seems to me we should also be paying sufficiently close attention to the article on gnosticism, with the goal of making this article dovetail as well as possible with the gnosticism article. I'll try to get back to what Malcolm Schosha suggests when I have some more time to do the background research. ... Kenosis (talk) 17:57, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Post some of those reliable articles and or their names here please. I would like to see who might characterize it as such. As for Hans you still have not addressed how the antisemtism that Hans Jonas in print associated with the gnostics and their gnosis be addressed in the article.

LoveMonkey (talk) 18:38, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

As evidence of the uniqueness and highly questionable nature of Voegelin's analysis of gnosticism, we might start with Eugene Webb, already drawn upon in the existing section on Voegelin. In addition to his recent article in Political Science magazine, Webb also offers substantial criticism of Voegelin's theories about certain connections between religious views and totalitarianism in Eric Voegelin, Philosopher of History (1981). Also, there's Ellis Sandoz, ed. (1982) Eric Voegelin's Thought: A Critical Appraisal . More recently, Michael P. Federici (2002) Eric Voegelin: The Restoration of Order has a chapter entitled "Veogelin's Critics", which also include David Walsh, Edmund Burke and Claes G. Ryn. A predominant theme of Voegelin's critics revolves around Veogelin's highly speculative connections between gnosticism and totalitarianism, for instance in Voegelin's Science, Politics, and Gnosticism (1968). Veogelin, remember, is primarily a political theorist, an Austrian who suffered through the Weimar and Nazi years during which numerous ideologies and religious concepts were wildly twisted by the powermongers. The experience of this brutal and tragic series of events is reflected in Voegelin's writing, a conspicuous example being his theorized connections between gnosticism and cult totalitarian rule. .... Kenosis (talk) 22:37, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
As to Jonas, I'd like some time to look through his book, which I cannot do right now. Thanks for the challenge to my thoughts about this, Lovemonkey and Malcolm. ... Kenosis (talk) 22:39, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
This discussion is pointless. Voegelin was a prominent scholar who published on the subject of this article. That makes what he wrote WP:reliable, and it belongs in this article, if the editors of the article like what he wrote or not. It is not the job of WP editors to decide if what Voegelin wrote is true, but rather to represent what he said on the subject correctly. I really do not see how that basic of WP editing can be hard to understand. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 12:34, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Malcolm. The issue I see here has nothing to do with liking what he wrote. My point is that the article's treatment of Voegelin's minority view-- indeed uniquely individual view --is excessive compared to the treatment of other views. It overly dominates the article with a debate started by Voegelin about, essentially, whether "gnosis" leads to "cult dictatorship". Lovemonkey asked me for sources in support of the notion that Voegelin's individual view of "gnosis" is criticized by yet other reliable sources, and I responded with a number of reliable sources and an observation about Voegelin's frame of reference. ... Kenosis (talk) 17:38, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Malcom has a point in that Voeglin is a College Professor and is a Peer-reviewed widely read scholar. Kenosis no disrepect but I own the books you are mentioning. Sandoz and Webb do not undermine that validity of Voegelin, as can be attested by Sandoz's new introduction to Science, Politics, and Gnosticism. Sandoz attests that his introduction revolves around this very point and how the Nag Hammadi did not invalid Voegelin scholarship. Federici Critics section?? Federici's book is in support of Voegelin. Even in the way it addresses the supposed criticism of Voegelin as having been agenda driven and not treating Voegelin even handed (much like what is happening here). Rather one likes Plotinus' message on gnosticism or Voegelins it does not change their work nor its validity. Now hows about addressing the Anti-semitism thingy? I would like to know the proper way to handle both the cult and anti-semitism angle in the article. Voegelin being the cult angle and Jonas being the anti-semitism one. Scholem maybe too. Since he got flat out denied from being added as a viable source in the Plotinus article by opposing editors there.

LoveMonkey (talk) 15:23, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

What is the argument here? That Voegelin's thesis that "gnosis" = "dangerous cult", or even that "gnosis" = "anti-semitic" (as reflected more directly in Jonas' book) merits a section in this article? The editors at gnosticism, a far lengthier article, chose to give Voegelin only brief mention amidst the numerous other scholars and commentators about gnositicism. As I said above, my main complaint is that it's extremely disproportionate to the depth of treatment on the entire topic of "gnosis" presently given in the article. I fail to see that it would be a problem to dig farther into the specific sources that grapple with this specific issue. Seems to me if the consensus ends up being to continue to include a section devoted specifically to a treatment of Voegelin and his critics, so be it--NP with me. But IMO, the discussion is not pointless as Malcolm asserted above. IMO we're merely doing appropriate homework here. ... Kenosis (talk) 17:38, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Incidentally, I now see the section in the WP article on Voegelin, Eric_Voegelin#Voegelin_on_Gnosticism. ... Kenosis (talk) 17:58, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
OK. I agree and homework needs to be done. What about my addition to the Hans Jonas article (since you noticed where I got the section I copied into the article gnosis here)? As I have stated there should be a pro and con section for the word gnosis and a clear way of showing the words usage throughout time. As much as the word ass can mean animal, person and attitude :>) So too gnosis needs to be as clear as possible. So far the article is very religious based, which negates the cultural, cult, political meaning and history of the word. Other then Voegelin I can not think of any other scholars who have maintained this lineage in the words history. The word still maintains that pedigree.
The word in ancient times was used the way the word mysticism is used today. This is cultural. Since the religions of ancient Rome (Pagan and Judeo-Christian) where state entities. Please understand I am lazy and would prefer to leave it be but since someone is willing to try, then so I am. I am not trying to run you off from the article. This whole Voegelin thing is missing. As for Hans Jonas, shouldnt it be noted that gnositicsm (as Jonas stated) is incompatible with Judaism and is anti-Jewish, anti-semitic.LoveMonkey (talk) 18:31, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
W.r.t. your last question: Yes, it should be noted. I imagine both Jonas' and Voegelin's criticisms can be noted in just a few sentences each, with a statement that each in turn has been criticized by some other published scholars and commentators. Perhaps a section devoted to criticisms would reasonably well cover the basic issue(s) given the current length of this article. Personally, as I said, I still need to brief myself more thoroughly on Jonas' views on gnosticism; at present I'm not at all adequately familiar with the positions he takes in his book. ... Kenosis (talk) 21:09, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I dont agree that Hans Jonas should be associated with antisemitic views in the article, at least without more evidence. Yes LoveMonkey, I read the reference you quote. But I want to point out that it doesnt seem to be Jonas words verbatim but an interpretation of the author. I couldn't have access to Jonas original text, but I found some excerpts [14] (look specially at the end of the page) and other articles [15] that dont agree with the quote. Not to mention that Jonas himself was Jew.
I would say that if LoveMonkey wants to maintain his stance about Jonas, he has to provide a reference where one can find Jonas words and not an interpretation. --JuliusCarver (talk) 18:42, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

OK I think that is very close to were the article content with both scholars needs to be. This rather then blanket deleting sections of content. Han Jonas took the stance (at first sympathetically) that Gnosticism was an existentialist response to the problem of evil (sort of). After much reflection he became very much against such a nihilistic/annihilistic perspective toward nature (as its essence) and the material world, universe. Voegelin sought to define gnosis as its orginal philosophical usage and how the word was used as a catch all of knowledge that was "divine" and therefore not to be questioned. Gnosis used this way as a tool of power and manipulation rather that be religious or not, power and politic are one in the same. This type of gnosis is fire in the minds of men. Voegelin saw in the word an inclusiveness that reflected a community mindset or way of thinking. The best way to see Voegelin theory is to see the gnosis of the Eleusinian Mysteries as the real basis for the use of the word. With Diagoras of Melos treatement as a clarification on the idea of the word's social and political application to people in society. Voegelin was accused of being a gnostic, Voegelin however seems to say gnostics and their gnosticism is not really a religion and religious movement onto itself, but more like a Pagan Mystery Cult negative PR attack on Judaism and Christianity and other Mediterrian, Middle East paganisms. These sectarians were initiated (even though some maybe Jews, some Christians, some Hindu) into pagan mysticism as individuals, being called gnostics, their cults founded by charismatic leaders whos gnosis was philosophical arguments that reconcile what they liked about given religious traditions. A Pagan Syncretism that took what it liked of fellow religions and vilified the rest.

Voegelin however was a (east) German Protestant Christian (not a Pagan nor a Hellenized Jew). Eugene Webb's critique of him exposed that Voegelin's Christianity was very skeptical of Orthodox Christianity, though. This is why to equate me and my personal position to him (Voegelin), is just ignorant. Webb shows that much of Voegelins Christ is very compatible to the early gnostic sectarians deconstruction of the Orthodox Christ. This is the basis of most criticism against Voegelin (hence calling him a gnostic). Somehow that needs to be reflected. Voegelin's reasoning could be him showing tolerance via sympathizing and being tolerant of some of the gnostic sectarians positions on Christ and the early church community. Here it seems that Jonas has a very different position. Jonas believed the best compromise made to the issues brought up philosophically by the gnostics, that best compromise is called Neoplatonism. Jonas spent the last part of his life trying to build a philosophical argument to this effect, but he never did put it to paper. LoveMonkey (talk) 13:44, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Here you are showing clearly that Voegelin had a particular interpretation of the term Gnosis, and that it's different from the accepted meaning by the majority of scholars. So I agree with Kenosis that his section has to be deleted. It's fine for him to be in the See Also section, but not to occupy one third of this little article. --JuliusCarver (talk) 19:22, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
No clearly I am showing Voegelin used it like Plato and Hans Jonas, philosophically.

LoveMonkey (talk) 02:36, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Another question[edit]

This is the most important question of general clarification about gnosis. In light of the comments made above. Wvvvhat is the definition of gnosis from the followers of gnosticism? Hans Jonas states it is that the true God is strictly spiritual. That the material world (babies, beaches and Sunday Drives included) is evil. That this is at the heart of their secret knowledge (that the evil material world, universe, existence should be destroyed God, Gods or no God, no Gods). Voegelin states that gnosis is just philosophy or dialects that resolve various religious ideas, gnosis as Revolutionary faith.[16] [17] please note also Voegelin's definition of gnostic and gnosticism on pg 22. That one can have a utopia or paradise here if people as a collective had the right understanding. OF course that understanding from Voegelins, which he states makes him not a gnostic is the theory that the material existence and or the universe should be destroyed or to Immanentize the Eschaton, trigger the apocalypse to bring about paradise.[18] Every revolution a step closer to "the paradise of non existence". Since the reality is flawed and by its nature as limited, is unperfectable. And in order for the spirit to be freed of it, the material world should be destroyed. Instituitions, rulers and all of nature, our bodies, etc. etc. Destroyed, thrown into the abyss, whatever. Now how do we incorporate all of this. LoveMonkey (talk) 15:48, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

The term gnosis has a very simple meaning: it's the knowledge you can have of God. This is not knowledge through faith but direct knowledge, as when you know a tree or something. This is why is somehow mystical. But it doesnt mean that you see God, it's more like a revelation similar to the Nirvana of Buddhists. You have to remember that gnostics believed in two gods: one hidden from the world (and this is the one that is know through gnosis) and the other that is the creator of the world.
And about the material world, I think your interpretation is wrong. The gnostics dont considered the world as evil but the structures that men developed in the world (intellectual as well as physical). Look for example here [19], specially at the meaning of the word kosmos that the author clarifies. --JuliusCarver (talk) 19:03, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


No, wrong the followers of gnosticism state the material world and its creator are evil and or fallen (the demiurge). This is the cornerstone of the "gnosticism" of the gnostics. All of the modern revision will not change the Apocalypse of Adam and what the core Sethian or Ophite text teach. Valentius knew this and he created a soften stance on what was destinctively gnosticism. This does not resolve the villification of human beings bodies nor nature and the God who created them. You are distorting the truth of the "matter" by using Valentinus as if he was first and the core of gnosticism was his moderate take on it, and of course it was not. Nor are you addressing if gnosticism is Sethian or Ophite is antisemitic. LoveMonkey (talk) 01:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for a solution of the Eric Voegelin conflict[edit]

I want to propose a solution for this debated topic: Create a section called Contemporary views of gnosis and inside it put two subsections Gnosis and politics and Gnosis and existencialism. In the first one we'd put the Voegelin views and in the second one the Jonas views (which I plan to write when I have time, or maybe Kenosis could help me with that). I think this would give the article a more encyclopedic tone and raise its level without losing any point of view. What do you think? --JuliusCarver (talk) 13:07, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

JuliusCarver, what you want to isolate, in a separate section called Contemporary views of gnosis, is all the materials that are WP:reliable sources. Building an article on primary sources is not allowed in the writing of Wikipedia articles. Articles are written based on published secondary sources that explain what the primary sources say. If you want to do it differently than that you need your own website. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 13:26, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm choosing to lay back a bit on this until I'm more familiar with the body of sources surrounding Hans Jonas' The Gnostic Religion and with the secondary sources regarding Eric Voegelin's view. The WP policy w.r.t. primary and secondary sources, in relevant part, is as follows:

All interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source, rather than original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors.
Primary sources that have been published by a reliable source may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. For that reason, anyone—without specialist knowledge—who reads the primary source should be able to verify that the Wikipedia passage agrees with the primary source. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. To the extent that part of an article relies on a primary source, it should:
* only make descriptive claims about the information found in the primary source, the accuracy and applicability of which is easily verifiable by any reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge, and
* make no analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims about the information found in the primary source.

... Kenosis (talk) 18:20, 8 November 2008 (UTC)


Malcolm, I don't want to reflect my own view of gnosis in the article (else I would have changed it without trying to solve the conflict). And I think is clear that I don't want to delete the Voegelin POV (although I don't agree with him). But if you read the last LoveMonkey contribution to this discussion you can note that Voegelin developed an interpretation of the term gnosis and related it to political theory. I think this a contemporary view, good or bad I don't know. Worth to be in Wikipedia: yes. But that is not the meaning that the word had in antiquity nor is the view accepted by most scholars. At least could we change the title of the section to something like Political interpretation of Gnosis instead of Eric Voegelin? I think that would be better while we find a better solution. I think it would raise the level of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JuliusCarver (talkcontribs) 14:36, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
JuliusCarver, you can not quarantine a reliable source because it presents a negative view of the subject. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 18:10, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I know Malcolm, by I want that the reader has a better perspective when he or she reads the article. Look, let me put the things this way: are there other major scholars on gnosticism that share the Voegelin POV? If not then by simple common sense we would have to agree that Voegelin has developed a particular interpretation of the term and that should be reflected in article. At the very least in the title of the section concerning him. Hope you agree with me on this one :-) --JuliusCarver (talk) 18:28, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Malcolm is right, are we to now quarantine Plato? Since Voegelin used Platos definition, again covered the entire spectrum of the word gnosis' definition, this seems like an attempt (not so much by kenosis maybe) to diminish or invalidate Voegelin. A continued and persistent one. The word meant knowledge, later it was contrast with epistemology rather then compounded with it. LoveMonkey (talk) 02:27, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Gnosis used by gnosticism to further antisemitism[edit]

I dont agree that Hans Jonas should be associated with antisemitic views in the article, at least without more evidence. Yes LoveMonkey, I read the reference you quote. But I want to point out that it doesnt seem to be Jonas words verbatim but an interpretation of the author. I couldn't have access to Jonas original text, but I found some excerpts [20] (look specially at the end of the page) and other articles [21] that dont agree with the quote. Not to mention that Jonas himself was Jew.
I would say that if LoveMonkey wants to maintain his stance about Jonas, he has to provide a reference where one can find Jonas words and not an interpretation. --JuliusCarver (talk) 18:42, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


I recopied your remarks here in order to showcase how unethical distortions are continuelly being re-injected into this discussion and making the case for collaboration impossible. Hans Jonas was Jewish, Hans Jonas was not gnostic nor a follower of gnosticism. Hans Jonas depicted gnosticism as antisemitic as it clearly stated in the link I provided. How you could post

"I dont agree that Hans Jonas should be associated with antisemitic views in the article."

show you are here to disrupt and frustrate, you are not here to collaborate. LoveMonkey (talk) 02:04, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Please, please assume good faith. I should mention that Jonas' book was for many years one of the principal scholarly works on gnosticism, and is still widely respected as a major scholarly work on gnosticism, even though it was published prior to the release of most of the Nag Hammadi library. More, although it strikes me that Jonas regarded gnosticism as incompatible with core tenets of Judaism, I'd sure be interested to know where he specifically states anything to the effect that gnosticism is "anti-semitic" as alleged above. ... Kenosis (talk) 15:46, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
And here is the quote from earlier on the talkpage you said you read. Maybe you missed it, it quotes Hans Jonas but then you state doesnt quote him..
quote "Jonas describes the typical Gnostic use of biblical material as follows: vilication, parody, caricature, conscious perversion of meaning, wholesale reversal of value-signs, savage degrading of the sacred, and gleefully shocking blashemy." Hans Jonas was Jewish and this reference clearly states that Jonas denied a Jewish origin to Gnosticism.[22]. So please clarify do you need Hans Jonas to state explicitly that gnosticis is anti-semitic, since in the above link Hans Jonas calls gnosticism "anti-jewish animus". So how much further down the road does Hans Jonas need to go (and yes thats a quote from Hans Jonas). We already have Gersha Scholem explicitly stated it is as he Scholem is being quoted by Hans Jonas.

LoveMonkey (talk) 02:13, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

OK, thanks, I see the passage. LoveMonkey, the source you cited, Gager's The Origins of Anti-Semitism , refers to Jonas' noting that Gershom Scholem regards gnosticism as "the greatest case of anti-Semitism". The judgment made by Jonas is an observation that gnosticism is "saturated with an anti-Jewish animus". Not having had a chance to read his work yet, I wonder if he's referring to gnosticism in the first several centuries CE, or to more recent permutations such as that associated with the Third Reich. Of course this would appear to deserve note in an article on gnosticism; though perhaps less so in an article on "gnosis", being as it is that the concept of "gnosis" is somewhat different in scope than and meaning than the concept of "gnosticism". Developing a brief section on critical views of gnosticism might, it seems to me, be a reasonable solution, while not straying too far from the basic concept of "gnosis" itself. ... Kenosis (talk) 16:30, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Excellent. Lets work on that. Jonas and the other books I have referenced already (about Hans Jonas) address the gnosis of gnosticism as anti-semitism. The heart of the argument is what manifest in the theological teaching of Ex nihilo. Ex nihilo is the ousia difference between Plato's creator (the demiurge)and Yahweh the Hebrew creator. The difference is and was the thing that Hans Jonas could not overcome in order to validate that 1. Plato was commentating on the creator of Moses in Plato's Timaeus, 2. That Plotinus' demiurge can be reconciled with Yahweh. Of course Jonas was inconclusive. Plotinus states that the demiurge is the divine cosmic nous much like the logos. This nous is the manifestor of order. This blanket thing that can be modeled into something is energy. According to Plotinus force (the one, source or Monad) manifests energy (the demi-urge) through emumenation followers fo gnosticism don't see the force/monad as the very chaotic matter the demiurge was forming into the universe. That the force was "non sentient". This substance of the demiurge is his being, the substance, being, essence of the demiurge is the force or monad (via emunation). The God of Moses is at best panenthestic but even that is wrong because it denies that incomprehenisibilty of God in essence, being or ousia. Jonas stated that the gnosis say the Yahweh God as failed because his order is incomplete. This all of course is failed in it's oversimplication. But the is the spectrum of gnosis from the followers of gnosticism. This is the whole problem that Voegelins entire work addresses. The gnosis of the gnostics was a synecretic for of subjectivism that denied the axiomology and objectivity of the Universe or cosmos. There is no way that any Hellenist could ever accept it. This the problem Voegelin, Plotinus had. Here is a very sharp article that addresses the problem of subjectivity and relativism philosophically as Voegelin and Jonas accused the followers of gnosticism [23]. LoveMonkey (talk) 18:07, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

The view that Gnosticism was inherently antisemitic seems to have plenty of support from reliable sources, as in this from The Myth Maker, by Hyam Maccoby [24][25] Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:53, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes you are absolutely right Malcolm. It is treated by Voegelin and Scholem as well as Jonas as a cheap distortion of what the true essence of Yahweh actually is. And it is also an outragious attack on Zeus as well. Ol Zeusnous you fickled cat, oh were are you now? I dare say that in Jewish circles gnosticism is treated as a Persian anti-semitic and anti-hellenistic, reactionary movement. A movement that teaches anti-semitism and anti-Greek hatred as secret knowledge, it taught hate, division (dualism) and victimization. This is why and what the early church fathers where attacking it. Since real gnosis (true, not false) was actually how one can interact directed with the infinite, uncreated Yahweh via his hypostasises and energies AKA (theoria). The gnostics of gnosticism did not teach this originally. They taught syncretic philosophical systems, claiming to have gotten the "revelations" directly from the God they clearly state is unknowable and that one can not know or reached. When people completed their "systems" they did not see God. Nor did they become saints in having obtain self control (asceticism)
they never produced any people even close to someone like Saint Seraphim of Sarov.LoveMonkey (talk) 18:09, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
It seems to deserve note here that many gnostics viewed everything created by humans as "evil", including, of course, Judaism. At the extreme, some gnostics regarded everything in the world as evil, whether or not it was a construct of humankind. ... Kenosis (talk) 20:14, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes I and I think Malcolm are saying gnosticism teaches Judaism is evil. LoveMonkey (talk) 04:03, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I want to make it clear that it's not my purpose to disrupt the discussion that is taken place here. I just want more evidence (i.e. primary and secondary sources) for LoveMonkey affirmations about anti-semitism in Jonas' work. I provided evidence on the contrary that it seems he decided not to consider. Thanks Malcom for providing some more.

I've not seen a single word in The Gnostic religion, Jonas most respected work, about antisemitism among gnostics, i.e. that some or all of the many sects that now are called by this name were promoting hate toward Jews (as LoveMonkey is trying to imply a couple of paragraphs above). If someone could put a quote of Jonas words saying the contrary then I won't say anything more about this subject.

Now, I think promotion of antisemitism is one thing and other completely different is to take the Jewish symbols and distort them to present a different view on reality, a different religion. Most probably gnostics wanted to mock Jewish religion but everyone that has read their profound and illuminating texts would not find a single word promoting hate against Jews or any other people. I just think his ways are not so different of when a caricaturist mock a politician. If others derived of it antisemitic views is not their fault --JuliusCarver (talk) 22:16, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

You have been given both. For anyone else reading here is yet another example of what I have been saying about Hans Jonas' actual position. [26]. Read bottom of page 8 top of page 9. I am not the author of this work. This text gives JuliusCarver the explicit quote he asked for and the source, specifically in the footnote on page 9 stating Jonas states "gnosticism is antisemitic".-the fact that the demiurge is frequently equated with the God of the Old Testament suggests the influence of anti-Semitism. But JuliusCarver is denying what the paper states as valid. I have posted (just read above) the same thing and position about Hans Jonas. JuliusCarver states the opinion is just not sourced enough not valid enough, note the comments in the article and posted by me are sourced. Impossible, criteria, when valid sources are quoting the individual, are the ones given and this is still not acknowledged or just out right ignored. LoveMonkey (talk) 04:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Definition of gnosis[edit]

The term gnosis has a very simple meaning: it's the knowledge you can have of God. This is not knowledge through faith but direct knowledge, as when you know a tree or something. This is why is somehow mystical. But it doesnt mean that you see God, it's more like a revelation similar to the Nirvana of Buddhists. You have to remember that gnostics believed in two gods: one hidden from the world (and this is the one that is know through gnosis) and the other that is the creator of the world.
And about the material world, I think your interpretation is wrong. The gnostics dont considered the world as evil but the structures that men developed in the world (intellectual as well as physical). Look for example here [27], specially at the meaning of the word kosmos that the author clarifies. --JuliusCarver (talk) 19:03, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Gnosis covers the spiritual, not exclusively God but also created spiritual beings like angels too. It also covers knowledge of spiritual evils, demons and satan (this is called the arena). Faith is action, faith is acting without knowing the outcome. And correct theoria is specifically, uniquely, the vision of God, gnosis comes from theoria, yes not other peoples gnosis. Trees in their ousia I do not find mystical (they are created as is specified by gnosiology). Gnosis comes after the understanding of the created essence of things. People can call things gnosis which are not revelatory, but are arrived at through speculation alone. LoveMonkey (talk) 02:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, faith is not itself action, but a trust or belief in something without empirical evidence in support. One needn't act to have faith in something. (Arguably, certain kinds of actions may follow from faith, but action is not a requisite nor necessarily an integral component of faith. One can have complete faith that, say, the world will work out fine in the end, and not do a darn thing about it one way or the other.) Secondly, this statement just made about what's meant by "gnosis" calls to attention some of the very substantial definitional problem with the use of the word "gnosis". This issue of definition was dealt with by the WP editors of gnosticism, and it may be even more of an issue here w.r.t. "gnosis". At its core, it means nothing more than "knowledge", generally presumed to mean someone is asserting they have direct knowledge of something spiritual, or, perhaps even everything spiritual. Thus the use of the word "gnosis" implies that one who possesses such knowledge has insight that goes beyond "faith". Beyond this basic assertion about "gnosis", the problem of definition is quite complex, as is evidenced by the widely varying uses of the word in many of the published sources, and also evidenced by some of the difficulties in defining it that we've seen on this talk page and in the article. ... Kenosis (talk) 20:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Very well described Kenosis. I'm glad this discussion is progressing nicely. Reading your answer I can see that my definition is too narrow and only applies to gnostic movements of antiquity but yours is superior. I'll say it should go in the article, specially the sentence: "gnosis" implies that one who possesses such knowledge has insight that goes beyond "faith". --JuliusCarver (talk) 22:29, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
This would require a reliable source external to WP, to support it. As we can see by, e.g. this list of definitions, they tend to be all over the map, so to speak, and AFAIK, none of them speak directly to a comparison with "faith". I think the words "direct knowledge" or "spiritual knowledge" used in the article already pretty much cover it. ... Kenosis (talk) 22:53, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

This is talking in circles. By whos definition of faith? My comments are not my own, they can be sourced. Can yours? What could your comments be but attempts to frustrate? The gnosiology article I created is sourced by Prof. George Metallinos of The University of Athens [28]. The definition of gnosis as spiritual knowledge from the philokalia, I also added to the article and sourced. What have either of you two editors added or sourced? What are you both attempting to do here? Both of your comments above appear disruptive. LoveMonkey (talk) 02:47, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I fail to see what's circular. The issue of "faith" vis-a-vis "gnosis" came up in LoveMonkey's comment above; I responded by quickly clarifying the normal scope of definitions of "faith" as compared to the most basic definitions of "gnosis"; JuliusCarver stated he'd like to see a definition such as that I presented in the article; and I in turn responded to that by asserting such an approach would need to be sourced if anything like it were to be included in the article. Lacking such a comparative definition of "faith" vis-a-vis "gnosis" by one or more reliable sources, I should think that pretty much ends that particular sub-thread. As to the notion that this discussion is somehow disruptive, I think not, and recommend that LoveMonkey rethink that position. Now, I've got some background research to do w.r.t. this topic. Lacking further useful discussion or further insights such as additional sources, I'll pick this discussion up when I've gotten a better handle on Jonas' work. Thanks. ... Kenosis (talk) 03:18, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
According to what sources is your definition of faith/pistis is as such? Please post them here. I am sourcing, you are not. That is being disruptive. Since you by posting the above and are again supporting the position that Voegelin be removed(via your support of JuliusCarver). What else could it be? Here is V. Lossky's definition of faith-faith is human thought guided by the instinct for truth MTEC pg 49. Faith according to the philokalia is active love, trust for God and the taking up into the whole theanthropic activity of God in Christ and of man in Christ through which mankind attains salvation pg 430 vl 4. Again not mine. Faith is not faith without activity.

LoveMonkey (talk) 04:17, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

PS Specifically your example is circular logic. I quote

"One can have complete faith that, say, the world will work out fine in the end, and not do a darn thing about it one way or the other."

Your example is also an non-sequitur, indolence is an activity and choice to purposely not engage. To make the choice to not do, is an activity. To choose not to choose is just as much a choice as any other. LoveMonkey (talk) 04:42, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

As I have some brief additional time on my hands, I'll respond here.
..... I'm sorry, LoveMonkey, but by the overwhelming preponderance of reliable sources, it is an extremely unconventional definition of "faith" you're using here. It's not my personal "off the top of my head" definition of "faith" I relied on above, but rather is quite consistent with the standard definition of "faith". See, e.g., the range of definitions offered by the free dictionary online and Mirriam Webster's Dictionary Online, which actually are fairly consistent with the most common scholarly interpretations of scriptural definitions too. One more thing that bothers me here: Given your assertion that I and/or JuiusCarver am/is/are being "disruptive", my perhaps-obvious question is, "why bring up the issue of 'faith' in an unconventional usage in your comment above, then turn around after myself and JuliusCarver responded and proceed to accuse others of being disruptive?" ... Kenosis (talk) 05:35, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
.....P.S: that was intended to be a rhetorical question, because the purpose of this talk page is to engage in a discussion that [hopefully] leads towards improvement of the article. Of course, WP users including myself commonly accept some degree of leeway about issues of reasonably relevant interest on the talk page. I suggest that an apology might be appropriate to JuliusCarver for your overreaction to his good-faith submissions on this page. Speaking only for myself, I've no serious problem with this exchange thus far other than w.r.t. the accusation of "disruptive[ness]". ... Kenosis (talk) 05:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Response[edit]

Kenosis wrote
As I have some brief additional time on my hands, I'll respond here.
..... I'm sorry, LoveMonkey, but by the overwhelming preponderance of reliable sources, it is an extremely unconventional definition of "faith" you're using here.


LoveMonkey response
Wrong this attitude is the very cornerstone of Eurocentric behavior why is everything only validated by European sources why are only European scholars the only valid ones? Boring. Blowing smoke, filling the talkpage with emptiness, wasting time. Your now making me quote scripture which is silly. The Gospel of James (James 2:14-26) clearly states the Faith without works is no faith at all. So in the context of this discussion if you can show me what the PreChristian pagans did when it came to faith, we can then incorporate it since much of the text on gnosis, in the Nag Hammadi (see Pistis Sophia) and the Patristic text focus on the Pistis of the bible. Faith as the driving force of committement, in contrast to the followers of gnosticism who say they actually know a God that is by their own definition unknowable. LoveMonkey (talk) 14:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Kenosis wrote
It's not my personal "off the top of my head" definition of "faith" I relied on above, but rather is quite consistent with the standard definition of "faith". See, e.g., the range of definitions offered by the free dictionary online and Mirriam Webster's Dictionary Online, which actually are fairly consistent with the most common scholarly interpretations of scriptural definitions too.


LoveMonkey response
Funny how none of your sources give or support your definition of faith being separate from activity. Remember choice is an activity, yes a mental activity, but an activity none the less. 14:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Kenosis wrote
One more thing that bothers me here: Given your assertion that I and/or JuiusCarver am/is/are being "disruptive", my perhaps-obvious question is, "why bring up the issue of 'faith' in an unconventional usage in your comment above, then turn around after myself and JuliusCarver responded and proceed to accuse others of being disruptive?" ... Kenosis (talk) 05:35, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


LoveMonkey response
Like I posted above and in the introduction to this article. Faith, Gnosis and antinomianism- the lawless are all related to the subject matter. I am making the criticisms in an attempt to keep the discuss on the subject, nothing more, nothing less. LoveMonkey (talk) 14:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Kenosis wrote

.....P.S: that was intended to be a rhetorical question, because the purpose of this talk page is to engage in a discussion that [hopefully] leads towards improvement of the article.


LoveMonkey response
Yes hopefully. LoveMonkey (talk) 14:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Kenosis wrote
Of course, WP users including myself commonly accept some degree of leeway about issues of reasonably relevant interest on the talk page. I suggest that an apology might be appropriate to JuliusCarver for your overreaction to his good-faith submissions on this page.


LoveMonkey response
Here is the very disruptive behaviour I was referring to. JuliusCarver has provided no content, no sourcing, nothing new to the conversation. JuliusCarver has instead interjected and re-asked questions that have already been addressed. And stated that the Voegelin section should be removed. These things are not good faith submissions and you are doing nothing by your comments but proving them as such. They are and have been nothing but disruptive to the on going conversation between editors on this page who have to stop and re-address and repost what is already here. JuliusCarver is also denying content is, what it is. That too is not good faith, being insatiable is no form of compromise. I have already posted many compromises. You are now wasting peoples time and not furthering the discussion. You appear to be trying to frustate. Being unsatisfiable is not acting in Good faith.LoveMonkey (talk) 14:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I've provided my sources (three, if I'm not wrong, as you can see in my previous posts). Since my sources about Jonas contradicted yours, I've asked for the verbatim citation of his words. Thank you very much for providing them, by the way. I think they will raise the level of this discussion. I was not insatiable, just skeptical, because I hadn't find such strong Jonas words about antisemitism in The Gnostic religion and because you only provided one source, saying that there were plenty of references on the net about it, that I simply couldn't find.
About the Voegelin affair, at the beginning I was in favor of eliminate his section and now I just want to modify it a bit, as I stated two or three times when Malcom asked me about secondary sources. Obviously, I'm looking for the evidence to do that.
I don't want this scholar discussion become a personal fight, so please don't accuse me of incorrect things.--JuliusCarver (talk) 16:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Kenosis wrote
Speaking only for myself, I've no serious problem with this exchange thus far other than w.r.t. the accusation of "disruptive[ness]". ... Kenosis (talk) 05:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


LoveMonkey response
More wasting time. Please. Your actions contradict themselves. If there is no problem then what is the need of an apology to JuliusCarver for? If you have no problem then why is the request coming from you? LoveMonkey (talk) 14:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Parrhesian response to JuliusCarver[edit]


JuliusCarver Wrote
I've provided my sources (three, if I'm not wrong, as you can see in my previous posts). Since my sources about Jonas contradicted yours, I've asked for the verbatim citation of his words.


LoveMonkey response
Now here is a perfect example of disruptive behaviour, done in bad faith that serves no purpose but to frustate. Your source What Is Gnosticism? Author Karen L. King [29](that you posted in your response under the header --Gnosis used by gnosticism to further antisemitism--) not only validates that Jonas stated Gnosticism was anti-Jewish and anti-semitic the actual line where Karen King does it sources Jonas and gives his words as you have requested. Quote.

The third point Jonas finds even more problematic (that Gnosticism originated by Jews) because he regards anti-Jewish animus as the defining characteristic of the relationship of Gnosticism to Judaism. Look at the source is on pg 325 -Jonas "Response of G.Quispel 293
Jones wrote, and I mean- is not the quote by Jonas? (note it was called Sardonic by the author) "We have learned that almost nothing is impossible in human psychology, not even anti-semitism among Jews. And what an exciting nay soul-shaking spectacle that would be: the greatest iconoclasm before modernity erupting in Judaism-Jews themselves turning against their holiest, tearing it down, trampling it into the dust, reveling in its utter humiliation, proclaming the complete devaulation of all traditional values-Nietzche, Sartre, Saint Genet rolled into one: how fascinating, how modern. Of all the many genealogies of Gnosticism tried so far, this would surely be the most interesting.."


This is the exact thing I am talking about. This type of behaviour is so blantant and obvious that the only intent that one could have is to be disruptive. Anyone who reads your link would have come across what I posted and just started to ignore you. But now Kenosis is defending you and stating that I apologize because I find things like this counter productive and disruptive.. What Is Gnosticism? Author Karen L. King's example validates that Jonas clearly saw gnosticism as anti-Jewish and anti-semitic. This your source. This source does not at all contradict what I have posted from my sources. LoveMonkey (talk) 22:14, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


JuliusCarver Wrote
Thank you very much for providing them, by the way. I think they will raise the level of this discussion.


LoveMonkey response
I would hope so but following your previous posting, forgive me if I take the comment above as patronistic. Which means it is of no use and is wasting my time. But I should be clear here, my intention is to have a good article but your conduct is no value so far and is at best a distraction. Please post solid and clear examples of what we can do to the article. LoveMonkey (talk) 22:30, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


JuliusCarver Wrote
I was not insatiable, just skeptical, because I hadn't find such strong Jonas words about antisemitism in The Gnostic religion and because you only provided one source, saying that there were plenty of references on the net about it, that I simply couldn't find.


LoveMonkey response
If your own sources give you what you request, as I posted just one example. How can anyone read your conduct as indictive of anything but unsatisfiable. Hans Jonas wrote more then The Gnostic religion. No one but you is insisting that this one thing be the only source on Jonas. Nor should anyone. 22:30, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


JuliusCarver Wrote
About the Voegelin affair, at the beginning I was in favor of eliminate his section and now I just want to modify it a bit, as I stated two or three times when Malcom asked me about secondary sources. Obviously, I'm looking for the evidence to do that.


LoveMonkey response
Evidence to do what? Again my point is I am unclear on what you intend to do. I have offered that Voegelin be cut to a line or two and be added to the Plato section, as a modern continuation of Plato's political, philosophical and religious use of the word gnosis. LoveMonkey (talk) 22:30, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry for being absent for so long but I've been quite busy during the last months. If you still agree, I would like to accept your offer about Voegelin as you are stating it here. I don't know if Malcom would agree with it though.
By the way, I'm glad to see that the article has improved a lot.--JuliusCarver (talk) 14:50, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

JuliusCarver Wrote

I don't want this scholar discussion become a personal fight, so please don't accuse me of incorrect things.--JuliusCarver (talk) 16:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

LoveMonkey response
I can only comment on what is here and the edits to the article. And that conduct is what I am commenting on. LoveMonkey (talk) 22:30, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Alice Bailey[edit]

The statement by Maccoby on Gnostic hostility to the Jews [30], that "the Jews are the representatives of cosmic evil," caused me to think immediately of Alice Bailey because that is exactly her stated opinion also [31]. A web search shows a number of sources linking Alice Bailey literature with Gnosistics[32][33], and some mention of her in the article as a contemporary Gnostic might be justified. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 12:52, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Excellent Malcolm, the whole conspiracy theory thing that you are posting is important. Because even in the East where gnosticism never did really die out, it just became what the West would call the occult subculture (hence Helen Blavatsky who was using the gnosis of gnosticism "technics/dialects" on Hindism and Buddhism), this is the very defining "knowledge, gnosis" of the followers of gnosticism. Now Russia did not really have a large home grown movement powerful enough to do much of anything (except sell diviniation) like this, it of course had to be imported (see James Billington's Fire in the Minds of Men). One thing that is a repeated teaching of this idea or group is that the Old Testament is nothing but Jewish propaganda and gives directives which are nothing but mind control. This is one of the problems that Voegelin and others have with Nietzsche and his Master-slave morality. This is part of Voegelins whole approach to the gnosis of the followers of gnositcism(s). In Russia Paul Florensky tried to reconcile with a segment of this group (as Vladimir Solovyev did before with his Sophiology lots of people got killed anyway). Of course Father Paul was executed, but that is whole 'nother topic. Go figure. Stalin purged the occultists, this was called the Great Purge. Since as Voegelin pointed out this, that the followers of Gnosticism are not tolerant, do not allow dissent or questioning of their "gnosis". Their response is violence. Hans Jonas pointed out the connection between Gnosticism and Nihilism. It was this connection that Voegelin elaborated on. Of course RAW had a field day with this stuff. Since Voegelin's definition of gnosis entails all of this and this is why he wrote close to 30 volumes and or works dedicated to the subject. Voegelin saw the mass murder and misanthropy of the world of his time as hatred, he saw gnosticism as the teaching of hatred (duality, divide and conquer). The false gnosis was things like racism, sexism the isms in general etc. etc. the ideas or the demons of Dostoevsky.[34][35]

LoveMonkey (talk) 14:02, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

We are now very close to poshlust. The Eastern Occults', false gnosis. Voegelin used the word Ersatz to describe false gnosis. As an Orthodox Christian there is still one most important turn of this perspective left to be made Malcolm. Before we jump right off the edge, Malcolm please take time to read this History of the Jews in Greece and History of the Jews in Russia. Gnosticism's type of antisemitism was introduced into Orthodoxy from the occult. LoveMonkey (talk) 17:34, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Gnosis = the nagging feeling (or belief) that you are fooled all the time[edit]

Gnosis is the age-old belief that I am fooled (manipulated, enslaved, used, or in German: "verarscht") by everyone and everything, and hence having a permanent nagging feeling ("doubt") of being fooled all the time, beginning with Plato ("reality is a dream"), Descartes ("you cannot know anything to be "true" at all), Charles Darwin ("sexual selection" is fooling you all the time), Sigmund Freud ("the unconscious is fooling you"), Richard Dawkins ("your selfish gene is fooling you"), Ernst Fehr et al. (the social nature is fooling you all the time in the light of a "fooling evolution"), pope Benedict XVI (who is fooling all "Christians"), Hans Kummer (enslavement and social manipulation was the most successful strategy in human evolution; even "culture" originated in manipulating and enslaving other beings, including pets, humans, and nature itself, e.g., bacteria producing oil "for us").
Although the gnosis is only a belief itself, the gnostic guys may be right nevertheless -- since the counter-claim (that you can trust anybody and anything all the time) CAN NEVER BE PROVEN (even not by some "love" - because even "love" may only turn out to be a sociobiological bias or "evolutionary strategy" of breastfeeding mammalian primates).
Hence, I am fooled not only by laughing babies (who want to manipulate me, i.e., to use me as their "kin selector"), by priests and scientists (who want to fool me by believing that I am fooled by some "evolution", "god", etc.), by the tax office guys and economists (who really have learnt how to fool everybody), etc.
Hence, according to Peter Sloterdijk, the gnostic (or Machiavellian) discovery of being fooled by everyone and everything and the gnostic strategy (i.e., to doubt everything and mis-trust everyone) were perhaps THE most successful religious strategies in historical time (beginning with the Greeks and ending with Science).
And despite the claim of all those wellness-philosophers today (Gerald Hüther, Joachim Bauer, Alain de Botton etc. etc.), "trust" does not exist --- because there is no "stability" in "nature" (nor in "human nature"), nor can this "stability" be proven (yet)... (despite ongoing scientific research about the stability of synaptic networks, including "feelings of trust").

--- OE, Dec 25, 2009 AC —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.77.244.202 (talk) 12:00, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

'Epistemological' versus 'empirical' knowledge[edit]

I tried to change 'epistemological knowledge' to 'empirical knowledge' on the basis that 'epistemological knowledge' is a meaningless phrase (all knowledge is epistemological, by definition) and also that the source appears to use the phrase 'empirical knowledge'. This was reverted with the comment that "the Greek source does not say empirical, it denies discursive epistemological". The source that is referenced ([36]) doesn't use the words 'discursive' or 'epistemological'.
Since 'epistemological knowledge' is meaningless (and I now see occurs more than once in the article), this needs to be tidied up. Based on the terminology used in the Metallinos article, it could be changed to 'scientific knowledge' or even better, given the Platonic inheritance of the term, 'discursive knowledge'?
While I'm looking at the lead, I can't understand why "mature understanding" is linked to apperception, as the two ideas appear to have no connection. Some change there would be welcome too.
All the best. –Syncategoremata (talk) 13:08, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Gnosticism[edit]

there is a proposal for the creation of Wikiproject:Gnosticism, Its scope will include all gnostic faiths and will serve as a nexus for the improvement of Gnosticism related articles on Wikipedia, If any one would like to join or comment it is located here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Proposals/Gnosticism --Zaharous (talk) 01:09, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

This whole gnosticism thing that you have been posting (to various mystic related articles here on the wiki) to me seems a bit strange to say the least. Is there not already a mysticism work project? If there is why are you looking to make another? I am just asking. As for gnostic faiths..None of the groups would have called themselves "gnostic faiths" that seems like a bit of a neologism. These supposed groups were named after their founders and the "special secrets" that founder claimed that for money or whatever would give the participants absolute power and eternal life etc etc. Are you trying to legitimize the subjugation of people to these "groups". By Orthodox standards "Jim Jones" was exactly what a gnostic is. And no, one teaching mysticism should not ever by default be considered a "gnostic" in the false sense, only those that do what Jim Jones did. That is why gnosticism is an ascetic heresy. Specifically the "tactics" of these cult leaders is what is called gnosticism, and it has done much evil to the people whom seek the truth mystically, rather than those whom seek power and profit under the teachings of mysticism or religion. That's only my opinion, though that those "people" would be the "gnostics" condemned by Irenaeus). LoveMonkey (talk) 04:24, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

So-and-so who has a PhD in X[edit]

Generally speaking, no serious scholar stresses their credentials the way it appears in the article. In fact stressing a PhD in this way makes one look like a second rate hack. Putting things this way is either an insult to the person in question, or confirms they aren't worth bothering with to begin with. Ekwos (talk) 07:27, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Jim Jones[edit]

If you want to include Jim Jones in the article, at least include him with some text in the article itself explaining what he has to do with the topic...gnosis. An article is not a collection of random links someone thinks have something to do with the topic. The sources are there to justify that what is in the article is true. The article is not a simple gateway to the sources. In fact, in a good article the reader should never have to go to the sources at all. The fact that someone wrote "Jim Jones" in the article doesn't tell anyone anything. Ekwos (talk) 03:20, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Relevance of Manichaeism[edit]

Hi LoveMonkey, I moved this edit to Manichaeism, your restoring it now means it is duplicated. Why should it be here? The other material sourced to Samuel Angus seems a bit dated. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:53, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

It is a reflection of a gnostic sects beliefs and is from a valid source. What wikpedia policy dictates that this information does not belong? What wiki criteria are you referring to in your criticisms? Also what peer reviewed source are you basing your comments about Angus on? As there is variety here so too there is much in common, duplicate information here on Wikipedia is the norm, since when has that been a valid reason to delete sourcing from an article? LoveMonkey (talk) 03:49, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Hi LoveMonkey
Greetings
1. I still am struggling to see why should content on Manichaeism be in the Gnosis article not in the Manichaeism article? Since your source does not explain why you are making a connection...?
2. Re Angus, you gave the date 2003, but Angus is 1925. As you probably know, any source before the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts is of limited utility. However I've left it in, correcting 2003 to 1925.
Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:58, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Here is administrator User:EdJohnston, go to him and tell him how adding sourcing to this article make no sense to you. As for your comment on Angus get a scholar to make that statement and then it won't be wp:or. Also the source, are the works of Mani himself posted by Harvard [www.fas.harvard.edu/~iranian/Manicheism/Manicheism_II_Texts.pdf] so you have incorrectly identify the Works of Mani as the works of someone else.[[37]].[38] It would have been better to have let me finish making what I posted, and you keep deleting or changing, for me to make it into two sources.

As for the Angus book it was printed in the year 2003 or at least that is the latest printing of the book so saying...

"Angus, you gave the date 2003, but Angus is 1925"
Is wrong and misleading what I posted was a copy and paste and the latest printing is actually 2010.[39]
What academic sources in the field of the study of the Greco-Roman Mystery religious say that Angus is wrong and what are they saying specifically? As John M. Dillon for example makes no such attack on Angus, what scholars are calling his works invalidated? To what degree are they saying it is? People like say Kurt Rudolph for example, are they calling Angus dated? By your standard we should get rid of A. H. Armstrong and Plotinus himself. LoveMonkey (talk) 04:31, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Whoah... I'm not interested in having a fight. Make your edits. Cheers.In ictu oculi (talk) 06:31, 26 May 2011 (UTC)